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  1. #1
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    V-J Day 65 years ago

    World War II veterans remember V-J Day 65 years ago
    Christine Show
    August 13, 2010

    Relief and celebration — but not everyone could come home right away


    On Tuesday, Aug. 14, 1945, a sailor and a nurse kiss in New York's Times Square during celebrations for the end of World War II. The celebration followed the official announcement that Japan had accepted the terms of the Potsdam conference and surrendered.
    (VICTOR JORGENSEN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE / August 13, 2010)


    As Japan surrendered on Aug. 14, 1945, bringing an end to World War II, Don Washbish sat in an empty beer hall in Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar).

    Japanese forces had walked away on that day 65 years ago. The Southeast Asian city was abandoned. And after fighting for years as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Washbish, 20, couldn't quite grasp the significance of the historic moment that would become known as V-J Day, for Victory over Japan.

    "I didn't think of it in the broad sense that the whole world would be affected by this cease-fire," said Washbish, now 85. "I just thought, well, it's over. And we can go home. I hadn't been home in 2 1/2 years."

    Decades later, Washbish, of Ocala, said he now appreciates the magnitude of that extraordinary day. He and other World War II veterans recalled their experiences this week during the national convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. The event, which drew 450 veterans wounded in various wars, continues through Sunday at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee.

    On V-J Day, celebrations broke out throughout the country after President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered to the Allies, just days after the U.S. dropped its second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Thousands of Americans streamed into New York's Times Square to cheer.

    One of those partygoers in New York was J.R. Wages, who was an 18-year-old sailor at the time. His ship had just brought troops home from Calcutta, India.

    "It was chaos," said Wages, 83. "We were there all night celebrating. I was happy."

    Wages went on to serve in the Korean and Vietnam wars and now lives in Alpharetta, Ga.

    Relief about the end of the war brightened the spirits of soldiers around the globe. But for many, hopes of returning home immediately were dashed.

    Donald La Fond, for example, was eager to return to his home of Muskegon, Mich., after spending two years in the Marine Corps on various Pacific islands, including Saipan. But La Fond, then 21, was dejected when he learned that he had to serve in relief efforts for Nagasaki.

    When the news came, "you kind of felt relieved," recalled La Fond, who is now 86 and lives in Marina del Rey, Calif. "You feel like you're not going to combat. What dulled our feelings was that we were going to Nagasaki. We wanted to come home."

    Some of the men who attended the Purple Heart convention heard the V-J Day news in hospital beds.

    Harry "Kip" Monroe Jr., 88, of Jupiter, woke up in a Boston hospital weeks before V-J Day after his jeep was attacked by enemy forces. And 91-year-old Anton Dietrich, of the Richmond Hill neighborhood in New York, spent more than two years in a hospital — one of those years in a full body cast — in Normandy, France, after he was hit by a mortar-shell explosion.

    As for La Fond, his war experience remains fresh in his mind. A few years ago, he was invited to visit the places where he served in the Pacific, including Saipan, on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings.

    "When we left the place, it was just in shambles. It was a big mess," said La Fond, who was taken on a tour that retraced his initial landing on Saipan. "I looked around. … I said, 'Gee, this is beautiful.' I don't know, it just kind of got to me. I could still see us hitting the water coming in making this landing."

    orlandosentinel.com

  2. #2
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    lest we forget

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    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Thanks.

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    A great day for the world. The end of a very nasty period of history where millions lost their lives.


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    Slight diversion but connected - I think

    Was a kid of 3 in London on V-E day.

    Locals made a HUGE bonfire outside our house - in the centre of the road- and had a street party - plenty of wood as 60% of the neighbourhood had been destroyed by V 1 Doodlebugs!

    We lived on a steep hill
    Lasting memory is of the tarmac road catching fire and flowing like lava down the hill !


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    Thanks to the sacrifices of the greatest generation.

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    I am in Jail

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    Thank the Gods it was over.

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    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humbert
    Thanks to the sacrifices of the greatest generation.
    Here here.

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    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Gorgon
    Thank the Gods it was over.
    I don't believe in them, but I would like to thank all those people who gave everything to ensure victory.

  10. #10
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    Asia Remembers End of World War II
    YURI KAGEYAMA
    Associated Press writers Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, Kristen Gelineau in Sydney and Joe McDonald in Beijing contributed to this report.
    Monday, August 16, 2010


    Yoshiaki Kamagata, 86, a veteran of the Imperial Japanese army, wipes away sweat from his face, at Yasukuni Shrine during a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, in Tokyo, on Aug. 15.
    (Photo: AP)

    TOKYO — Asia paused on Sunday to remember Japan's surrender to the allied forces which ended World War II 65 years ago, as the Japanese prime minister apologized for wreaking suffering on the region and the South Korean president said Tokyo's remorse was a step in the right direction.

    From Nanjing—the site of a 1937 massacre by Japanese troops—to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which has drawn outrage from Asia for honoring Class A war criminals, people prayed for the millions who died in war and expressed hopes for peace.

    The reckoning with history has taken special meaning this year as it comes amid a global effort to realize a world without nuclear weapons, a resolve backed by President Barack Obama. But there were reminders of lingering tensions.

    In Seoul, President Lee Myung-bak, dressed in traditional robes, led a ceremony celebrating the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule with the Aug. 15 surrender.

    He also urged North Korea to abandon military provocations and make a "courageous change" toward peace. Relations with North Korea have nose-dived after the March sinking of a South Korean warship and Pyongyang's firing last week of a barrage of artillery into South Korean waters.

    In Tokyo, at a ceremony for the war dead, Prime Minister Naoto Kan reiterated his apology to South Korea for wartime atrocities, and this time offered his regret to all of Asia.

    Last week, Kan offered "deep remorse" in an apology issued ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Japanese annexation of the Korean peninsula on Aug. 29, 1910.

    "We caused great damage and suffering to many nations during the war, especially to the people of Asia," Kan said Sunday before a crowd of about 6,000, including Emperor Akihito, at Budokan hall.

    "We feel a deep regret, and we offer our sincere feelings of condolence to those who suffered and their families," Kan said.

    Lee said history should not be forgotten, but that Kan's apology last week marked progress.

    "I have taken note of Japan's effort, which represents one step forward," Lee said.

    "However, there still remain issues that have to be resolved," he said, without elaborating. "The two countries are called upon to take concrete measures to forge a new relationship for another 100 years."

    Many older Koreans still harbor resentment against Japan over the colonization. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans were forced to fight as front-line soldiers, work in slave-labor conditions or serve as prostitutes called "comfort women" in brothels operated by the military.

    Later Sunday, about 50 women rallied in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, chanting slogans and demanding compensation for former comfort women and other Korean victims of colonial rule.

    Reflecting a common sentiment among Koreans, activist Lee Kang-sil criticized Japan's apology as "lacking in action."

    Such hard feelings were also evident in China, where about 300 people gathered in the eastern city of Nanjing, to remember the victims of the 1937 "Nanjing Massacre," known in the West as the "Rape of Nanking," a rampage by Japanese troops that many historians generally agree ended with the slaughter of at least 150,000 civilians and disarmed soldiers and the rape of tens of thousands of women. The estimates are debated, with China saying the figures are far higher, while some Japanese historians claim they are lower.

    In Australia, World War II veterans and representatives from New Zealand, the US and Asian countries were among more than 300 people gathered in downtown Sydney to mark the anniversary.

    The group placed wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph war memorial to mark Japan's surrender and observed a minute of silence.

    More than 27,000 Australians were killed or died as prisoners of war during World War II.

    New South Wales Returned and Services League President Don Rowe said Australians at home and overseas were fighting for victory and peace.

    "And when peace came some 65 years ago today, it was also a sad time for many, many families whose loved ones never returned," Rowe said. "So today, ladies and gentlemen, we remember that victory but we also remember those who laid down their lives."

    Kan and his Cabinet broke from the past by staying away from Yasukuni Shrine, while members of the opposition continued with their visits, including Liberal Democratic leader Sadakazu Tanigaki and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    The national Mainichi newspaper expressed hopes for a world without nuclear weapons, highlighted by Obama's promise to work toward nuclear disarmament.

    "We must never repeat the tragedy of war, and we must continue to build peace.

    This anniversary should be a time for each of us to reflect," it said in a Sunday editorial.Memorials were held earlier this month in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities devastated by US nuclear attacks at the end of World War II.

    US Ambassador John Roos became the first official US representative to attend the Hiroshima commemoration this year. Hopes are high Obama will also go to Hiroshima during his trip to Japan set for later this year.

    At Sunday's ceremony, Akihito led a moment of silence at noon, bowing before a stage filled with yellow and white chrysanthemums.

    It was the his father Hirohito's radio broadcast 65 years ago that announced the end of World War II—the first time the Japanese public had ever heard the voice of the emperor, who had been revered as a living god.

    "I feel once again a deep sadness for those many who lost their precious lives and for their families," Akihito said. "I pray for the continued prosperity of our nation and for world peace."

    irrawaddy.org

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    Last VJ Day parade held in Belfast

    15 August 2010
    Last VJ Day parade held in Belfast



    The Burma Star Association wreath at the cenotaph at City Hall in Belfast


    The last Burma Star Association Victory over Japan Day (VJ) parade in Belfast has taken place.

    A total of 14 veterans marched in the parade, some needing the help of sons and daughters.

    Several hundred people turned out at the City Hall to witness the ceremony.

    The Burma Star Association was founded in 1951 and brings together veterans from all three services who fought in the jungles of Burma during World War II.

    James Lennon, 90, from Bangor, served in Burma from 1942 to 1945, and attended Sunday's parade with his family.

    "I am thankful to be here and I am thinking about all the comrades that were with us all through the years," he said.

    "I see on the parade today, there were only 14 left.

    "It is an emotional time."

    The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall led veterans in a service in London marking the 65th anniversary of VJ Day later on Sunday.

    The prince laid a wreath at the Cenotaph to mark the loss of almost 30,000 UK lives in the Far East.

    Prime Minister David Cameron, also laid a wreath and said Britain must never forget the sacrifices made by those who served in World War II.

    Of the hundreds of thousands who fought, 12,500 died in prison camps.

    A service was also held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where a memorial building for Far East prisoners of war opened in 2005.

    The Fourteenth Army - dubbed the Forgotten Army - was the largest British Empire and Commonwealth Army ever assembled, numbering over half a million.

    The Japanese surrendered on 14 August 1945 after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The next day was celebrated as VJ Day.

    Source: BBC News - Last VJ Day parade held in Belfast

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    WW2 nurse in iconic kissing photo dies

    reading through some VJ Day articles and saw this one, re pic in first post of this thread, article from 24 June 2010

    ..

    HISTORIC KISS: Edith Shain, the nurse in an iconic photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, sits in front of a likeness of the image on the 64th anniversary of V-J Day in Times Square, New York in this August 14, 2009 file photo.

    A nurse famously photographed being kissed by an American sailor in New York's Times Square in 1945 to celebrate the end of World War 2 has died at the age of 91, her family said on Tuesday.

    The V-J Day picture of the white-clad Edith Shain by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured an epic moment in US history and became an iconic image marking the end of the war after being published in Life magazine.

    The identity of the nurse in the photograph was not known until the late 1970s when Shain wrote to the photographer saying that she was the woman in the picture taken on August 14 at a time when she had been working at Doctor's Hospital in New York City.

    The identity of the sailor remains disputed and unresolved.

    Source/full article at: WW2 nurse in iconic kissing photo dies | Stuff.co.nz

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by genghis61 View Post
    reading through some VJ Day articles and saw this one, re pic in first post of this thread, article from 24 June 2010

    ..

    HISTORIC KISS: Edith Shain, the nurse in an iconic photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, sits in front of a likeness of the image on the 64th anniversary of V-J Day in Times Square, New York in this August 14, 2009 file photo.

    A nurse famously photographed being kissed by an American sailor in New York's Times Square in 1945 to celebrate the end of World War 2 has died at the age of 91, her family said on Tuesday.

    The V-J Day picture of the white-clad Edith Shain by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured an epic moment in US history and became an iconic image marking the end of the war after being published in Life magazine.

    The identity of the nurse in the photograph was not known until the late 1970s when Shain wrote to the photographer saying that she was the woman in the picture taken on August 14 at a time when she had been working at Doctor's Hospital in New York City.

    The identity of the sailor remains disputed and unresolved.

    Source/full article at: WW2 nurse in iconic kissing photo dies | Stuff.co.nz
    Now that sailor would be disciplined for sexual harassment either because of a complaint by the nurse he kissed or because some psychobitch saw it and was offended. Back then, America and Britain were worth fighting for, but as the other thread (for example) about letting the motorcycle thieves go because they are not wearing a helmet shows, both countries have been destroyed from within and neither country is worth fighting for any longer.

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    ^ agree - lawyers, lawsuit for sexual harassment and so on.

    VJ - well before my time, however 'my time' would likely never have been without VJ Day happening. My father and his childhood friend and neighbour from adjoining farm, 'the two Pats', were en-route to the Pacific at this time, had an uncle a few years older who was on The Solomon Islands. They ended up being occupation troops in Japan instead, returned in 1948, married, families etc. All three made it to their early 70s, average blokes leading average lives.

  15. #15
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by genghis61 View Post
    All three made it to their early 70s, average blokes leading average lives.
    You might find Stephen Ambrose's "Citizen Soldiers" and interesting read, although it is set in the European theatre, rather than the Pacific.

    A fascinating read on the American war effort (even for a brit!). He makes an interesting argument towards the end of the book that much of the post-war American boom was driven as a result of the characteristics inculcated into the Americans serving during the war. Team work, dedication, sacrifice, discipline etc.

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    ^ thanks; added to my list for when i stock up on reading in KL in October.

    I still have the odd laugh re the old man - he'd say "if it wasn't for me you'd be up to your arse in rice paddies"

    Well here I am in eastern Thailand. We have sugar and eucalyptus too, but if I wanted to I could indeed be that deep in a rice field tomorrow.

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    Had a couple of relatives detained as POW's by the lovely Japanese people after the fall of Singapore. One of them died only recently during a routine op on the NHS on a stomach problem (from amoebic dysentery during his POW days). A junior doctor killed him with the wrong anesthetic, which is irony personified.

    A magnificent generation indeed. Seems to be only the worst extremes of human conflict that can exemplify the best traits of human nature. Think I'll watch the "World At War" series again.

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